Interesting Technology

Ken Auletta speaks to C-SPAN about Google

Above is a lengthy and highly informative C-SPAN interview with Ken Auletta of The New Yorker about his new book on Google, which is called Googled: The End of the World As We Know It.

Here are some quotes and facts raised that particularly struck me:

  • “Google is a surrogate (in many ways) for the Internet”
  • “Google is a miraculous service for consumers but the problem is that it hurts businesses, especially media companies”
  • “The Google founders start from the assumption that most things are inefficient”
  • “The engineer is the content creator at Google”
  • Every minute 15 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube (which includes the above interview)
  • Google’s initial funding was $25 million from 7 key investors
  • Adsense is essentially a Vickrey auction system and made Google $21 billion last year
  • A Google data center looks like this
  • Part of the reason Google are so secretive is because co-founder Larry Page once read a book about Nikolai Tesla (one of the pioneers of electricity and radio) and felt he died poor and bitter because he was too open about his inventions and secrets.
  • Jeff Bezos of Amazon was an early investor in Google but this wasn’t widely known for quite a long time. His GOOG stock (if he held on to it) would be worth a $1 billion today.
  • Sergey Brin suggested to Auletta that he put his book up for ‘free on the Internet’ because more people would read it that way.
  • Auletta uses DropBox, which came in handy last week when his computer died.

Anyway, the whole thing is worth watching.

Interesting Technology

Walt Mossberg on C-SPAN with Brian Lamb

Technology journalist Walt Mossberg recently appeared on C-SPAN‘s Q&A interview series with the great Brian Lamb.

It is fascinating because Lamb always asks the direct questions, which – when applied to Mossberg’s career – reveal a fascinating period of technological change.

Among other things, they discuss ISPs in 1994, charges at the Wall Street Journal, Twitter, Silicon Valley, the near-death of Apple in the mid-90s, netbooks and iPhone apps.